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METHODS OF COOKING
Cooking is an art. It is linked with the dietary and cultural pattern of people. Almost all foods consumed need some form of cooking and processing before they are fit for serving and consumption. Fruits and some vegetables used in salad or chutneys are consumed uncooked.
· Cooking increases palatability of the food
· It makes mastication easier and renders the food easy to digest
· It sterilizes food by killing microorganism
· Adds new flavor and stimulates digestive juices
· Good cooking increases the acceptability of food
· It improves the appearance of food
· Solar cooking
Boiling: Cooking in water at its boiling point 100oc is known as boiling. Most of the vegetables are cooked by this method. Boiling in excess water may result in loss of vitamins and minerals. Specific time and minimum water must be kept for boiling these items.
To get good results from boiling
· Use the right amount of water
· Select correct size of pan
· Lid should be tightly closed
· Cook the food with skin to preserve nutrients
· Uncover the pan in case of green leafy vegetables
Simmering: This method includes cooking below the boiling point i.e 85oC. Meat and fish are best cooked by simmering because cooking at high temperature hardens the fibres of meat. It helps in preserving the essential vitamins and minerals.
Steaming: Cooking in this method involves direct heat steaming. Temperature is high and pressure is maintained. Pressure cooker is used to cook things by steam under pressure. This method is effective as it preserves nutrients, fuel and time.
Stewing: This method included boiling in smaller amount of liquid for a prolonged, low degree of heat about 800C. Here a pan is used which has well fitted lid to prevent evaporation.
Roasting: food is smeared with a little fat and exposed directly to heat or flame. This makes the food tender. Chicken and tender mutton may cooked by this method.
Frying: Frying is cooking in oil. It may be of two types- deep fry and shallow fry. In deep frying foods are completely immersed in large amount of oil. E.g; puri, cutlets, samosa etc. Shallow frying includes using less quantity of cooking oil. This method is suitable for cooking dosa, omlet, etc.
Baking: Baking is cooking food by dry heat. It is done in a hot air oven. Temperature required for baking is 250-5000C. Baking is expensive form and slow process of cooking. Foods cooked by this method are bread, pastry, cakes etc.
Grilling: This is direct heat cooking method. Here direct heat flame, grill or pans are used to cook. It is quick method of cooking for tender foods like cheese, brinjals and tomatoes.
Solar Cooking: Here solar energy is used to cook foods. It takes a longer time for cooking by this method. It is simplest and traditional form of cooking. Solar cooker and closed containers are used which absorb maximum solar energy.
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